Live uncomfortably without me
a last will is read · 25 years later

He never explained to her what the plan was. Talks here and there came up in casual conversation. Jokingly. With little thought. Never to take it seriously. To his dismay, he was serious about the outcome in the passing years. The future of their place on earth was then questionable as he watched the aging set in more rapidly than he’d projected it to be. It was unfair to set such an angle in motion. Actually going through a plan to sever the worst of it all because growing old together wasn’t going to be in the cards, felt like the bookend to their story. To him this wasn’t a coward's way out. It never occurred to him to dwell on creating a clean exit when it was anything but clean. He would carry it with him because the truth of the matter was, his aging slowed down tremendously and theirs would not. Making a choice to live in full solitude was just going to be the price paid having to watch the lifelines he'd kill for, wither away before he could kick the bucket himself.

Ten years go by. Another ten. Then five more move away from them. It’s been twenty-five years later. The two children they had together are adults. His eldest daughter was almost half a century old. His wife, a middle aged woman who looks as beautiful as she ever has, except time wasn’t so kind. Not in the way of aesthetics but the wear its put on the body, the mind, and the bit of soul he felt his closest to. Withering away even more so that his time was made to look like it came to an immediate end. He watched fully from false blue eyes, in a room conference for a day when the last time he seen them all together, was to celebrate his 72nd birthday. The annual road trip was the one celebration of a few celebrations that brought them together in one place.

Before September it was July, before that, June to mark Isla's birthday and father's day. Before it was mother's day and Bellamy's 25th. Their daughter just shy of 23 was a Capricorn. Despondent and devoid of most emotions on the outside but carried a world full of despair on the inside. A handful during her teen years and it leveled out once leaving home did her some good. She looked the most like Isla, blonde but with a sharp attitude that was cultivated from all the years of having to navigate a failing ecosystem of a world both parents tried to ready their children from. Hazel was a walking talking foul mouthed mini Nathan and more snarky than their older sister Rowan. He predicted there would be a lot going on since his untimely passing. The big one that took all of his family for surprise. Tossing them in a loop and by the ridges of their walls beginning to crumble, the reading of what was left to them by his own strenuous planning, would not begin to cover as protection as grief took his place.

Looking beyond a decoy expression, the prosthetic to keep his identity sealed, he noticed the life in the room exit like air from a deflated balloon. It was business now and a business that would keep them set until they all seemed to perish. He had to bear the guilt and done so since the plan was thrown in full motion years ago. Stuffy suit and a aged posture made him one of the lawyers that padded the lead in the revealing of the last will and testament. His pen tapping and unwavering attention span kept up while the lead attorney who was left to present this last advised will, stood up to receive the seemingly unsealed documents. He stood at the head of the table, not far off from Isla, and the kids that flanked her in seating position. The raven haired son with life in his eyes and very much a momma's boy, held her hand. Bellamy at least thought to make both of their parents proud, was more in touch with his feelings and it reflected by gripping close when it was found that his father remains washed ashore, or what they thought was his remains.

One planned exit so wrenching he expected to deal with the gravity of loss when it was time. Numb and starved from feeling was peddled to its correct place for the time being. In a series of memories, they came flooding to the forefront. All for Nathan to pocket. One after the other he tossed them in their order from best to worst, even holding a place for the ones that were horror shows among the reels he experienced. As the lead attorney freed the documents from their envelope, he brushed aside his comb over and scanned the notarized items prior to projecting his caulked voice across the room.

“Shall we go on? This is the last will and testament of Nathan E. Wilson,” a pin drop could travel through a flick and still would be unable to measure the silence that held the room hostage. “I Nathan Eric Wilson, of San Francisco, California, declare that this is my last will and testament...

Words took a turn on their own, as the announcing family left hanging were stated in the document. Addressing one of his lifelines as they were. There was a hiccup and a rumble of a cry being kept at bay. Whilst playing accordingly, Nathan looked over from darker tinted glasses. Almost shades by the looks of it and stalled from letting the grating of his lawyer's voice get the best of him. It was too close to stand up and call off the entire charade. Seeing it executed was the only way to see the three of them not have to worry about survival once it was all said and done.

I have one living spouse, named Isla Laurel Wilson. Three living children, named Rowan Okada, Bellamy G. Wilson, and Hazel L. Wilson. All references in this will to my ‘wife', ‘spouse', ‘child', ‘children' or ‘issue', include the above spouse which has been wed to and children hereafter born to me.

It went on many lines, inciting a palpable discomfort. Carving through the thickness of it all was fronted by sarcastic remarks and insults that were more facetious than its seriousness but he saw them individually hold on to more than divided properties and liquid assets. It was the memories and what could have been if a false death wasn’t presented to be real. As the last words closing out the read will, the frumpy attorney he posed as rose up from the chair. Excusing himself politely and finding the door to exit the room. In conference he left them behind. He did more than leave them to their own fending but it was wrapped up in abandonment and he knew the optics would mirror that way the further his crooked heavy walk began to straighten his posture to take strides further away.

Elevator going down was the final out. As soon as he met them closed, they opened with a signal to descend. One last viewing of the unit he thought he would fail or cause the most danger to, panned out in a way he would never take back. He proved himself both wrong and right. Sights were lowered when other people entered the elevator, his presence turning into the ghost they ignored. Stoned face behind a sharper nose, thinner lips and loose wrinkled jowls, saw a tear fall. Leaving no surface space to muck up his face and be questioned as the elevator met the ground floor to open up and for him to take off running.